The Joys of the Season: Packing It All Up

Posted: January 2nd, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Housewife Superhero, Husbandry, Miss Kate | No Comments »

It may make me sound like a holiday curmudgeon. And I’m not. I swear! But this year, one of the highlights of the holidays was packing up all the ornaments, decorations, and Christmas crap.

And not for any reason like we had a bad Christmas, or I that I have any negative associations with the baby Jesus. In fact, we had a lovely time. Christmas Eve we had a fun dinner party with Sacha, Joel and Baby Owen and Joel’s parents who were in from Chicago. I made Aunt Mary’s eggnog, we dressed the babies up in special waiting-for-Santa PJs, and when they were in bed we made our way through some good food and wine while chatting about everything from being deprived of junk food as a kid, to what causes Joel’s mother wants to fight for when she retires. When it was time to go I got Kate from the Pack and Play in their bedroom and her hair was sticking straight up like Phyllis Diller and even though we’d woken her up and dragged her out into a brightly lit room of fairly lit adults she was wincing and all smiley and it was so darn cute you just had to laugh at her and hug her to pieces.

And Christmas day was relaxed and lazy and fun. Peggy was here being Supreme Grandma to Kate. After a 10-minute period of Kate not totally gushing over Peggy when she first arrived, she shook that free and the two of them dove into in a wonderful love fest that was fun to see. You just can’t help but love it when another person is as gaga for your baby as you are.

On Christmas after opening presents and eating cranberry bread that I made (just like my Mom used to) and lounging around, we headed out for a before-it-rains hike with Kristen B and fam. Afterwards we ended up going to their house for an impromptu lunch of leftovers and to check out Milana’s Santa loot. Neither Mark nor I even thought about taking a shower until after 7PM. It was a dirty-haired Christmas, and it suited us just fine.

In the post-holiday shopping blitz (in which we probably spent more money than we did on all our pressies for others), I bought some ornament storage boxes at The Container Store. Then at OSH I got a Rubbermaid wreath storage bag. And at Target I picked up a wrapping paper and ribbon holder that looks like a golf bag, but lacks wheels (which would be a nice feature for their next gen product).

It was all I could do not to rip the ornaments off the tree the moment I entered the house with my storage boxes. But in a maternal act of selflessness I saw how much Kate enjoyed looking at the tree, so I left it intact until yesterday.

Suffice it to say, I’ve never had so much fun taking down a Christmas tree. I let my OCD out of the closet and wore it like a badge of honor. If I could have I would have alphabetized those damn ornaments, but I managed to derive enough pleasure from simply stowing each one carfefully in its own compartment where it will be safely stored and easily retracted next year. Oh simple pleasures!

My grapevine wreath, along with the pinecone ones Mom made and the shell one Aunt Mary made me are all wrapped and sealed in the wreath bag–and labeled neatly with green masking tape. (Do other people own six wreaths? Am I normal?) I covered all the other random decorations in bubble wrap and put the manger pieces in the same old newspapers that my mother stored them in for years. (I didn’t look at the year on the papers but I should have. I bet it’s old!) And Grandma Kohl’s divine Christmas tree skirt and 12 Days of Christmas wall hanging got furled up and packed away in the special cotton bags she made for them.

What, I ask you, could be more fun? In fact, I blew off the neighbor’s New Year’s Day party I was having such a dandy time doing all this.

Mark tossed the tree out front and vacuumed up stray needles and I slapped my hands together gloating with satisfaction while surveying the house. Without the tree and all the fixings it seemed like we suddenly have so much more room.

And just like that we’re back to non-holiday mode. It’s over and packed away perfectly until next year when we do it all over again.

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